TV: Is It Good for Kids?

by Martha Brockenbrough | MSN Encarta | March 1, 2006

“How much TV is OK for kids to watch? And are some shows better than others?”

This article explores the answers to these questions and describes research by CMCH Senior Scientist Dr. John Murray

“Scientists using MRI technology have found [that] turning on the TV doesn’t mean turning off your brain…
Though the brain is surprisingly engaged in making sense of what’s on television, not all the surprises were good ones.

The researchers found that a part of the brain implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder kicked in when watching violence on TV.”

» See Full Story

CMCH Researcher Releases Ground-Breaking Research

by CMCH | Center on Media and Child Health | February 13, 2006

CMCH Visting Scholar John P. Murray, has published ground-breaking research using
brain scans to see what happens when children view media violence. While the participants’ brains were scanned using an fMRI machine, experimenters kept track
of their heart rates and brain activity. The researchers saw that while the children were viewing violent videos, the areas of their brains that lit up were the same areas
that are activated when facing real live danger. The children’s brains were ready to respond to the violence with increased attention, alertness, memory and plans for escape.

Is Media Cutting into Time with Other Activities?

by CMCH | Center on Media and Child Health | February 6, 2006

A study in the February 1, 2006 issue of Pediatrics co-authored by CMCH researcher Dr. David Bickham

suggests that true to popular belief, television is cutting into the time children would have spent on other activities.

Their study of over 1,700 children who kept diaries of their time showed that the more time kids spent with media, the less time they spent doing homework or interacting with parents or siblings.

However, the study found no evidence that television takes away time from reading or from engaging in active play.

CMCH Director to Speak at Violence Prevention Conference

by Essex District Attorney's Office | Essex District Attorney's Office | January 23, 2006

On Wednesday March 22, 2006, Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, will speak at a violence prevention conference. The conference, National Trends in Adolescent Violence
Prevention, is sponsored by the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. Dr. Rich is one of three conference speakers
that day, along with Elizabeth K. Englander, Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, and Dr. William Pollack, Director of the Center for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital.

Parents Warned About Internet Safety

by WCVB TV | WCVB TV Channel 5, Boston | January 12, 2006

On January 11, Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, was interviewed by Channel 5 news for his comments on internet safety. Recently,
a man entered Lunenberg High School looking for a teen he had chatted with on the internet.

“Parents need to be as aware of the media actions and interactions that their kids have as they do about the kids they hang out with or the
foods they eat or whether they put a seat belt on when they’re in a car,” Rich said.
» See Full Story

TV and Toddlers

by Dr. Mary Ann LoFrumento | Your Morning with CN8 | January 5, 2006

How do electronic media affect kids under age 2? What has scientific research shown about DVDs marketed to very young children?

Dr. Mary Ann LoFrumento discusses the answers to these questions and offers advice for parents making decisions about their kids’ media use.

Media is an Environmental Health Hazard

by Tom Abate | San Francisco Chronicle | January 1, 2006

Are we so immersed in media that it’s become an environmental health hazard?
Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, was interviewed for an answer to this question. He says “We have to see media exposure like the air they breathe,
the food they eat, the water they drink. We should be aware of what we put in our kids’ minds.”
» See Full Story

CMCH Director Speaks with Senators Clinton, Lieberman, Bayh

by Senator Bayh's Office | Press Release | December 19, 2005

Pictured Above: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D, NY); April McClain Delaney (Washington Director, Common Sense Media); Dr. Michael Rich (Director, Center on Media and Child Health); Norman Rosenberg (President and CEO, Parents Action for Children); Senator Joseph Lieberman (D, CT). Not pictured: Senator Evan Bayh (D, IN).

On Friday December 16th, Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, was invited by Senators Clinton, Lieberman, and Bayh to introduce the Family Entertainment Protection Act.

Designed to prohibit the sale of violent video games to children, this legislation was introduced just before the last weekend of holiday shopping. More than half of all video games sales each year occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

» See press release from Senator Bayh’s office

Study: Parents Fail to Cut Kids’ TV Viewing

by Steve Ivey | Chicago Tribune | December 16, 2005

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 years old, yet a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that these young children are immersed in electronic media.

In the past few years there has been an onslaught of media, from videos to interactive books and CD-ROMs, marketed to parents with claims that they will make young children smarter. But the same study found that none of these claims are based on actual research.

Still, media are here to stay, so what do we do about it? “Since they’re out there, we better make them safe,” said Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, in a Chicago Tribune article.

» See Kaiser Family Foundation Report

Racy Teen Literature

by NECN | New England Cable News | November 18, 2005

Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, was interviewed by New England Cable News about the controversial new
trend of racy sexual behavior in teen literature. Many parents are concerned about how this material might
affect their children.

From his clinical work with adolescents and their parents, Dr. Rich recognized that
young people are exposed to sexual portrayals and talk at very early ages. He recommended that parents and
teens talk openly about these books and their content. Teens who aren’t ready for frank discussion of
sexuality won’t be interested in reading the books. He advises that parents should keep up with the
media their teens are using.

“Kids learn from media. Parents should read the books and
watch the TV shows their teens watch, so they can be prepared for an open conversation about what they’re learning.”